Our Song d’Hiver is Tapestry Opera’s latest on-line offering. It’s a little over an hour long and features Mireille Asselin exploring French-English bilingualism and biculturalism as it manifests itself from l’Acadie to the Ottawa valley with a bit of Provence thrown in for good measure. It’s very cleverly done and the production values are high. In places it’s very funny and in others impossibly sad. There are lovely performances by Mimi and pianist Frédéric and guest appearances from guitarists Maxim and Gervais Cormier, poet Élise Gauthier and composers Ian Cusson and Marie-Claire Saindon.
The music ranges from arrangements of traditional folksongs to more modern material including songs by Lacroix, Cusson and Saindon finishing up with a dose of Canteloube. A lot of the programme explores that intersection where people switch between French and English or some kind of hybrid without even being aware of it. It’s the world I first encountered when I moved to Canada; living in Ottawa, working a lot in Montreal. In a sense it’s my first Canada and I think I would see the country quite differently if I had moved straight to Toronto. So thanks to Mimi for this fun trip back there!
The full show is available for free on Tapestry’s Youtube channel and I highly recommend it.